Exercising with knee problems can be a challenge, but the benefits of exercise are numerous, from lowering blood pressure to creating a more favorable cholesterol profile. Before you give up on exercise, consider these low-impact options. Fine-tuning your exercise program can boost your health without hurting your knees.
According to MayoClinic.com, an elliptical trainer is generally considered low impact and is less strenuous on your knees, back and hips than even a treadmill. They assert that an elliptical trainer should not cause knee pain if used correctly. However, if you have an underlying problem you could experience knee pain when using the elliptical. The least stressful exercise on your knees may depend on your specific situation. According to MayoClinic.com, depending on your type of injury, a stationary bike may be easier on your knees than an elliptical.
Exercising in Water
If you are looking for exercise that is gentle on the knees, try exercising in water at local pools or spas. According to University of Washington Medicine, the buoyancy of water can encourage freer movement by lessening the stress put on your joints. The water can also act as resistance in muscle building exercises. Some people with arthritis find it enjoyable to exercise in water. The warmth of the water is also beneficial to some types of knee problems.
According to MayoClinic.com, walking isn't as likely to lead to injuries as other forms of exercise. Walking is a gentle, low-impact exercise that requires no equipment or skill, making it accessible to most individuals. One benefit of a walking program is that you can build up to a more intense workout with stairs and weights. Starting slowly and building at your own pace can help prevent injuries. Other benefits of a walking program include managing your weight, improving your mood and managing type 2 diabetes.
When to Contact Your Doctor
If you have knee pain that does not get better or you cannot bear weight on your knee, you should call your doctor. You should also call your doctor if you have severe knee pain or if your knee buckles, clicks or locks. Other circumstances that warrant calling your doctor include numbness, redness, warmth or significant swelling of your knee.
Lynn MacPherson has covered health, preventive care and nutrition for various online publications. She holds a Bachelor of Science in counseling and guidance from the University of Montevallo.